Earlier this week, it was announced that Robbie Farr will be running the majority of the 2020-21 season in 410 Sprintcars with the Jason Pryde Motorsport team. The journey of team owner Jason Pryde is quite an interesting one, as discovered by Totally Speedway’s Daniel Powell.
Originally from New Zealand, Pryde was born in Invercargill on the South Island of the country.
Raised in Invercargill, Pryde is from a motoring family, with his dad, Peter, running the V8 parts and accessories business called Auto Centre in his home country, but his younger years never saw him compete in much motorsport, apart from running a handful of Clubman events at nearby Teretonga Park circuit aboard his Honda Civic.
Moving to Australia
In 2005, Pryde, aged 20, packed up and moved across the ditch to Australia. Pryde’s place of choice was Perth in Western Australia, where he started working as an electrician. Once finding his feet after a couple of years, he started his own small electrical contracting business, and as they say, the rest is history.
After a few years in Australia, Pryde got involved with speedway via the Formula 500 class through the sponsorship of visiting American driver Austin Farley during the 2009-10 season. Following Farley returning to America, the Hyper car was sitting in Pryde’s workshop, and that was when he decided to take the car out for a practice night at the Perth Motorplex. As they say, once you get a taste of racing, you don’t look back, and that was exactly the case for Pryde.
Following Pryde’s first full season in Formula 500s, he ventured over to America to compete in the 2011 PA Speedweek Series for Micro 600s, which are the equivalent of Formula 500s here in Australia.
With the encouragement of Hedington and the support from Hyper Racing owner Dicely, Pryde contested six out of nine PA Speedweek Series night, where he managed to make the A main on two of those nights.
“I can’t explain enough how much experience I gained from running up against the very best drivers in the world,” Pryde said to Totally Speedway shortly after returning from the trip back in 2011.
“Running six nights of racing within nine nights was an unbelievable experience and what I picked up most was the need for me to be more aggressive out on the track. They don’t give you an inch out there and you have to fight for each race position, and it certainly helps make you a better racer.”
The Big Move
Heading into the 2013-14 season and after three and a half seasons in Formula 500s, Pryde made the big move into 410 Sprintcars.
Contesting the Western Australian-based AHG Series, Pryde had purchased the Ausdeck Racing team transporter on the east coast and that soon followed by purchasing a couple of the team’s Sprintcars.
Heading into his first season, Pryde, who was at the time aged 29, knew the challenge that was ahead by moving into 410 Sprintcars but felt that his time in Formula 500s is going to benefit him.
“Racing in Formula 500s is very competitive and there are so many different winners and there are so many racers who can win on any night, and that is very similar in Sprintcars,” he said at the time.
“I’m very lucky that I had met Dave Hedington in Formula 500s and that was our saving grace, otherwise I don’t think I would be here now, and I probably would be out of the sport as quick as I got into it, and I’m very thankful for all of Dave’s help, along with many others, to get my Sprintcar team up and running.”
Tackling World Series
Following two seasons running 410 Sprintcars domestically, Pryde decided to make another big move, and this time it was to join the World Series Sprintcar Championship as a contracted driver.
Since debuting in the WSS Championship of the 2015-16 season, Pryde has been a regular face on the national scene. The original goal for Pryde stepping into WSS Championship competition was to develop as a driver, and when you are running against the best racers on tracks around the country, it’s difficult not to improve with every passing season, which he certainly has.
After five seasons on the WSS Championship trail, Pryde’s best finish in the overall point standings has been sixth, which occurred during the 2016-17 season. In terms of the highest round finish for Pryde, it took place in his home state during last season’s 11th round at Esperance Speedway, where he finished the feature race in sixth.
There is no doubt that Pryde has a passion for World Series Sprintcar competition.
“I believe World Series Sprintcars has a history that can’t be matched in Australian speedway,” he said.
“It’s also a competition recognised for its intensity and its calibre of racing, I’m proud to be a part of a national competition that will drive me to achieve my goals in growth and eventual success.”
Not that they thought it was going to be easy, but that maiden feature-race win in 410 Sprintcars took a lot longer than envisaged by Pryde and his team.
This momentous occasion fittingly took place at Pryde’s home track, the Perth Motorplex, during the early stages of the 2017-18 season in what was the second AHG Series round. After starting the feature race from position three, he quickly moved into the lead and was never headed. Pryde handled the tricky track conditions the best and came away with the top honours.
After Pryde’s win, there was no one rival team that wasn’t happy for him and the team to capture their maiden feature-race triumph, especially when you consider their outstanding commitment to the sport of Sprintcar racing on a national level.
“It was emotional and a relief to finally get to the top step of the podium,” expressed Pryde at the time.
“Thank you to everyone associated with the Jason Pryde Motorsport team, great job by Jono Coyle (crew chief) and I promise I will practice victory donuts.”
New Zealand Return
After leaving New Zealand for Australia in his early 20s, Pryde had never raced any speedway competition in his home country, but that all changed in early 2019.
Thanks to a deal done with Christchurch-based Sprintcar owner Brent Gaudion, Pryde contested the New Zealand Championship at Central Motor Speedway (Cromwell), as well as the Gold Cup at Ruapuna Speedway (Christchurch) and the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pryde’s home-town track at Riverside Speedway (Invercargill).
Trials and Tribulations
Since moving into 410 Sprintcars seven seasons ago, it’s been far from an easy ride. They say that Sprintcars are a five-year apprenticeship, and Pryde has certainly earned his stripes.
As a driven businessman, Pryde has used that determination, along with a strong passion for speedway, to help him in Sprintcar racing. There have been nights when the chips have been down, but one thing that you will never see Pryde do is quit when the going gets tough. And failing to quit is not only one of the keys to success in Sprintcar racing but life in general.
Following the big announcement earlier this week of Robbie Farr as the team’s lead driver and the addition of highly regarded crew chief Glen Beaton, the Jason Pryde Motorsport team is set to go to a whole new level with their 410 Sprintcar program throughout the 2020-21 season.
The Jason Pryde Motorsport team have never done things by halves when it comes to their 410 Sprintcar racing, and now with Farr and Beaton in their corner, the sky is the limit for the season ahead.
Contesting the entire WSS Championship, along with all the other major events around the country, Farr and Beaton are certainly going to complement Pryde’s own 410 Sprintcar racing.
When it comes to the future, it’s shaping up to be a bright one for the entire Jason Pryde Motorsport team, as they now have the potential to mix it with the heavyweight teams, such as Krikke Motorsport and Monte Motorsport, on a regular basis.
To say that Pryde, along with his supportive partner Chanelle Condren and the rest of the Jason Pryde Motorsport team, are excited about what is ahead would be quite the understatement.